Boeing says Emirates has capacity to receive 150 777X aircraft order

But analysts warn that the Dubai airport’s rapid growth could mean it eclipses the 100 million passenger mark well before 2020, thereby reaching its full capacity before 2020.

Emirates airline has the needed capacity to receive its order of 150 Boeing 777X planes, the aerospace company’s president said on Monday.

His comments come a week after the European plane maker Airbus said that it had put on hold plans for a new version of the A380 because of capacity constraints at Dubai International Airport.

The world’s top two aircraft makers are vying for customers in the long-range, twin-aisle jet market.

“The 150 777X doesn’t deliver until 2021, so there is plenty of time,” said Bertrand-Marc Allen, the president of Boeing International, adding that Emirates is planning “ahead of demand right now”.

“The aeroplanes will arrive into a space that will receive them,” he said.

He was referring to Al Maktoum International, Dubai’s second airport, which will be the future home of Emirates.

Upon completion, the airport will be able to handle 240 million passengers a year.

The Boeing chief said that the A380, as a double-decker plane, requires special airport infrastructure that other planes do not need.

Last month, Dubai International Airport boosted its capacity to 90 million passengers as it opened its new Concourse D. The expansion has 21 contact stands, of which four can accommodate the A380 and the Boeing 747.

Dubai International Airport recently retained its position as the world’s No 1 for international passenger traffic for a second year after traffic exceeded 78 million in 2015. The airport expects 85 million passengers to visit the airport this year.

But analysts warn that the airport’s rapid growth could mean it eclipses the 100 million passenger mark well before 2020, thereby reaching its full capacity before 2020. This would call for a speedy readiness of the city’s second airport Al Maktoum.

selgazzar@thenational.ae

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